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Campaign to restore Cross; HENLEY: Historic monument 'shadow of its former self.

Byline: By Leda Reynolds

VILLAGERS are campaigning to have an historic monument which stands in the centre of the road restored to its former glory.

Market Cross, in Henley-in-Arden, was first erected in the 15th century and is rumoured to have been around 30ft high.

However, residents of Henley say the monument is a shadow of its former self and needs to be restored.

Parish and Warwickshire county councillor George Atkinson said the top of the cross fell off the monument in about 1850 and the remainder of the monument has degenerated to such an extent that it is unrecognisable.

"It's known locally as the stump because that's what it resembles," said Coun Atkinson.

"People passing through Henley have asked what it is and when they are told it's a cross, they say it doesn't resemble one, which is true."

Coun Atkinson said the idea to replicate the cross and place the original in the nearby Court Leet Gardens was raised ten years ago when a replica would have cost around pounds 20,000.

However, a wrangle with English Heritage meant the plan was shelved. The charity declared the cross was a listed ancient monument and needed to stay in situ.

Now a group of residents are calling for action and working on the Market Cross project with a view to something being done.

Coun Atkinson has asked Henley News Online - which covers the village - to conduct a poll asking people whether it should be restored.

"I'm told that the results so far show that 95 per cent of those who have responded want it to be restored," he said. "Our next step will be to put something in the parish newsletter to gauge further opinion before we contact English Heritage with a proposition."

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DEGENERATED... Market Cross in the centre of Henley-in-Arden.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 24, 2006
Words:304
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